Friday, March 30, 2012

What to do with a mock-up that works?

There are a couple ways I handle mock-ups (sometimes I refer to these as "trial runs" so I'm not constantly saying "mock-up"):
- if the pattern had a lot of fitting issues and I made it work, I save the mock up to use as a future pattern
- if it didn't work at all, it goes back in the fabric pile to be cut again as something else
- this one might be a little different than what other people do: if I think the pattern will work with only minor adjustments, I cut it in my lining fabric so I can just use it to line whatever I'm making once it's fitted. I baste the lining together, fit it, rip it apart to use as a pattern for the outside fabric, and put it back together.
- or, if the piece doesn't need a lining, I turn the mock-up into a garment on it's own. This can work since I mostly use plain sheets for my mock-ups. They take dye well if they have some cotton content so once that's done, no one knows the garment was just a trial run or is made from a sheet.

In this case, I went with the last option. When I made the Sims jeans for Eddy, I did a trial run to work out any kinks in my pattern alterations and sizing for his tiny self.

Of course they have some seams that don't quite make sense when they're not made in two colors, but that's not something most people notice right away.

Pants to dance in

There once was a girl who liked pants called UFO's (really there's lots of girls like that). Unfortunately, these pants were not in the budget of an unemployed college student. So, what's a girl to do? Make her own of course, this is a sewing blog after all (and a project from 2010).

I had seen other people wearing UFO's and got a chance to look at my friend's a bit, but since I didn't own any to even measure I had to make everything up as I went along. I do have some capri pants in a somewhat similar style, and those were definitely helpful for figuring out some of the details like where to attach straps.

These had no pattern and no trial run because they really didn't need it - I just went for it measuring and drawing directly onto some plain white fabric (a sheet to be exact). I'm pretty sure I had traced the crotch curve from a shorts pattern, but that's all. I used my hip measurement plus a couple for the waist (divided by 4 for each half leg piece) and made the pant legs 40" on the bottom (20" per leg piece). 40 inch wide pant legs are amazing by the way. They have drawstring in the waist and legs, lots of pockets, straps, and star buttons (those weren't sewn on yet in the photo above). One of the more interesting details I noticed in pants of this style is the little tucks at the knees - two on each side, so 4 per knee, only in the front. You can see them in the above photo. I believe they give you more knee room so you don't rip your pants doing crazy dance moves.

Why yes, I do things the hard way.

Here's another project from the past year. Although I mostly sew for myself, it's not because I don't like sewing for others. I like doing commissions (hint hint), as long as the person I'm working with is willing to try things on and discuss what is and isn't possible. In this case, my best friend asked for some pants from the Sims 2 game, like these:

 ... and here's my version (plumbob also made by me using a template found online. It's card stock that's been painted and wired to a headband):

I did kind of promise to sew Eddy something for Christmas and he's pretty easy to work with, so I didn't mind taking on a complex project I had never done before. By that I mean I'd never made structured pants, put in a fly front, or worked with denim. I'll say now that I was a little amazed when I finished them and they turned out better than I expected. There were some tough times with how much my machine did not enjoy sewing through 8 layers of denim.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What's black and white, and spotted all over?

This new dress I'm working on of course!

A little while ago I saw the Victorian Noble Mermaid Dress from Victorian Maiden, and thought it looked pretty similar to the pencil skirt version of Simplicity 3673. I have this pattern, so I thought, "I can totally make that!"
I'm not sure why I like this dress as much as I do - maybe it's the gentle curve of the bottom and the shape of the neckline. Usually I'm not a big fan of wearing pencil skirts, but what the heck, I can't be poofy all the time, right?

As you may have gathered from my post title, this isn't exactly a replica of the VM dress. The first difference is that I'm using this awesome black and white polka dot fabric from "That $1.99 Fabric Store" (yes, that's really the name of the store). It has a nice weight to it, and slight stretch - great for a fitted dress so I can still move freely. When I got it, it was covered in tiny red arrow stickers, pointing out print errors, but none of these are significant enough to be visible in a finished garment. (Photo further down)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Satyr costume

Since I'm already in a Halloween mood after the last post, here's another costume. This was for Halloween last year. I've seen lots of these costumes in the past and really wanted to make one of my own after that. I wasn't actually planning on doing it last year, but my boyfriend at the time helped convince me. Once I was done, I was glad I went through with it even though it was a lot of work. It's also a bit of a storage nightmare.
I used several tutorials scattered around the web as guidelines - sorry, I don't have all the links now. The necklace is the only piece I did not make or alter in any way.
Fun fact: I got a lot more compliments than I expected on my butt and tail while wearing this.

The Lady Gaga Wedding Dress

Here's one of my favorite projects from 2010. It's proven to be quite versatile. I originally made it for a Craftster challenge that had us use a bed sheet to make something. I wanted a gown inspired by Lady Gaga, but since I was using white, it turned into pretty much a wedding dress... made out of a bed sheet. Someone sang the wedding march as I walked by to take photos outside. People have also mentioned it reminds them of the Labyrinth, but that's a great movie so I don't mind the comparison at all. I've also worn it in a fairy godmother costume and as a dead bride/theatre ghost at school.
The main pattern was Simplicity 3673 with some changes - clearly the sleeves, which were a pattern I enlarged from a textbook. I just winged it on the collar, which ties in the back with some ribbon.
I like doing weird makeup too, so to add a little more Lady Gaga inspiration, I used CD pieces as face decoration. (Pictures after the jump - click on any photo to enlarge)

The Victorian Project - in progress

I've always admired Victorian clothing and enjoy seeing people still make such things. Back in 2010, I decided I would make my own Victorian gown. To help motivate me, I turned the project into an independent study for college. Well, I graduated school and the outfit is still in way more pieces than it should be...
When finished, it should look something like this. The outfit is based on images from the 1870s and 80s, so it's not totally accurate for any specific year, but I doubt too many people now will pick out the anachronistic details.

Who doesn't love polka dots?

I mean really, they're awesome. These are two of my projects from last year: a blouse and skirt. I haven't gotten a chance to wear either piece out yet, which leaves me a little disappointed, but there will come a time for them.
I found these awesome fabrics at a discount fabric store for just $1.99 a yard. I wish I'd gotten more! The yellow is a sateen finish, and flows beautifully, although it tends to stretch like mad on the bias so the hem never hangs even. Ah, well, I'll still wear it.
I used this tutorial for the circle skirt:
and heavily altered New Look 6599 for the blouse. I changed all the darts to princess seams, did plain sleeve ruffles instead of cuffs, got rid of the yoke, made it close all the way up, and drafted the new collar.
The entire blouse is french seamed, including the armholes... this seemed like it would never work, but it did. I think it had to do with how light weight the fabric is.
I'm wearing a camisole since the blouse is sheer, and organza petticoats I also made a while ago.

Hello readers

My name is Gosia and I had wanted to learn to sew way back when I watched my mom doing it while I was a little girl. A couple years ago (2008 or so...) I finally started to get into it seriously. Now, I have quite a backlog of projects I keep telling myself I'll do one day and a fabric stash to match, so hopefully starting a blog to keep track of what I'm working on will motivate me to get some of those things done.
Once in a while, I'll include projects I finished before starting a blog. I enjoy some of them quite a bit and maybe someone can find them inspiring.
Feel free to contact me with questions, tips, critique, or any other comments you may have : )